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Protect Your Skin

Please check your skin-care labels…

as many skin-care products contain dangerous/toxic ingredients….do yours?

The following is a list of common suspicious ingredients:

  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products coat skin like plastic, clog pore and create toxin build-ups.  This accumulation leads to dermatologic issues; and slows cellular development, which can cause early aging signs.  Petroleum products are a suspected cause of cancer and disrupt hormonal activity.  Ocean oil spills are quickly (sometimes not quickly enough) cleaned…why put it on your skin?
  • Parabens – Widely-used preservatives in the cosmetic and skin-care industries; it’s estimated that 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate these preservatives with cancer.  Plus, parabens disrupt hormones, mimicking estrogen in particular, interfering with the endocrine system.
  • Phenol carbolic acid– This acid is associated with circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and respiratory failure.
  • Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer.  Yet, studies show it may cause dermatitis/skin irritation, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit healthy skin cell growth.
  • Acrylamide– Sometimes used in hand and face creams and linked to mammary tumors (in lab research).
  • Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS)/ sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Used in car washes, engine degreaser, and commercial garage floor cleaners….and in over 90% of personal care products.  Beware as SLS breaks and penetrates skin moisture barriers, allowing other chemicals to follow.  When combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a potent carcinogen called nitrosamine.  It also is linked to hair loss.  Some disguises label it as “comes from coconuts”.
  • Toluene Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin!   Made from petroleum or coal-tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.
  • Dioxane– Commonly found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols, which are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane and easily absorbed through the skin.  **First reported as a carcinogen in 1965 then later confirmed by the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

If you care about your skin and your health, use products derived from plant names you recognize, and/or know.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

Foot Notes

Feet are subject to more injury than any other body part….why?

There are many structures to injure; the foot and ankle contain 26 bones (25% of the body’s bones), 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Though the best exercise for your feet is walking; walking brings a force of several hundred pounds on the feet.  In fact, a 150-pound individual who walks one mile exerts about 63.5 tons on each foot…that’s 127,000 pounds per foot.   When walking on cement, each foot receives 180-pound jolt every step.

Average Americans (not exactly sure who this refers to) walk about 10,000 steps per day.  During a lifetime, these same individuals walk about 115,000 miles, which is more than 4x around the earth.

Runners exert 3-4 times their body weight on their feet.

For those that like heels, a 2 ½ “heel increases forefoot load by 75%

How to take care of your body’s foundation:

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.  Theodore Roosevelt

World’s most popular cooking herb

…is not just a garnish.

Parsley, a member of the carrot family, is usually the most healthful food on restaurant plates.

“Parsley – the jewel of herbs, both in the pot and on the plate.” ~Albert Stockli

This therapeutic spice can be used for so much more, add its tangy sweet flavor  to dishes such as salads, coleslaw, dips, sauces, salad dressings, butter spreads, and most entrees.  Both stalks and leaves are useful, the former has a stronger flavor.  Though 30 varieties of parsley grow throughout Europe, the most popular ones used here are the curly leaf and the flat leaf, also called Italian parsley.

Parsley’s history is rich, including its use by banqueting Greeks, who donned parsley crowns for appetite stimulation and good humor promotion.  Romans mention this spice back in the fourth century B.C.  During Hebrew Passover, it was a symbol of rebirth.  And in Medieval times, parsley was set on tables and adorned around diners’ necks to absorb food odors.  During this time, it was also used a poison antedote.

More recently, when Peter Rabbit had overeaten in McGregor’s garden, he used parsley as a digestive aid.  Today, parsley is known for a multitude of benefits.

Its slightly warming nature improves digestion; supports bladder, kidneys and stomach; helps water imbalances and promotes urination; eliminates toxins; strengthens adrenal glands; benefits optic and brain nerves; helps treat kidney stones and gallstones; freshens breath odor; plus it’s an anti-carcinogen and antioxidant.

Parsley’s remarkable nutrition:

  • Excellent source of Vitamin A
  • Three times more Vitamin C than oranges
  • Twice as much iron as spinach
  • High source of chlorophyll, calcium, sodium, and magnesium

Parsley’s nutritional analysis: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3112

USDA Nutrient Data Base:

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

 Energy 36 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 6.33 g 5%
Protein 2.97 g 5%
Total Fat 0.8 g 3%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g 8.5%

Vitamins

Folates 152 mcg 38%
Niacin 1.313 mg 8%
Pantothenic acid 0.400 mg 8%
Pyridoxine 0.090 mg 7%
Riboflavin 0.098 mg 7.5%
Thiamin 0.086 mg 7%
Vitamin A 8424 IU 281%
Vitamin C 133 mg 220%
Vitamin E 0.75 mg 5%
Vitamin K 1640 µg 1366%

Electrolytes

Sodium 56 mg 4%
Potassium 554 mg 12%

Minerals

Calcium 138 mg 14%
Copper 0.149 mg 16.5%
Iron 6.20 mg 77.5%
Magnesium 50 mg 12.5%
Manganese 0.160 mg 7%
Phosphorus 58 mg 8%
Zinc 1.07 mg 10%

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene-ß 5054 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 5561 µg

 

A word of caution: As with most things, this spice must be used in moderation by pregnant women.  Parsley stimulates the uterus.  And it also may dry up milk in nursing mothers.

Lawn Pharmacy

Dandelions aren’t weeds…

They are plant medicine officially known as Taraxacum officinale.  This ubiquitous plant is actually a healing herb highly regarded worldwide for its kidney, liver, stomach and spleen benefits.

Both the root and the leaves have restorative and adaptogenic qualities.  Yet, each part has specific medicinal properties.

The leaf is:

  • an effective non-irritating potassium-sparing diuretic (the French call this plant, piss-en-lit, which means wet the bed)
  • useful for fluid retention
  • bitter tonic, which may lower cholesterol levels
  • an enhancer that increases absorption of nutrients
  • nutrient dense: vitamins A, B complex, C, D; minerals-calcium and iron (more than double that of broccoli), plus magnesium, and potassium
  • full of inulin, which can lower blood sugar levels; and chlorophyll, a beneficial intestinal flora grower

The root:

  • stimulates saliva, hydrochloric acid production and bile flow
  • aids sluggish bowel
  • assists with achlorhydria, and digestion
  • promotes fat metabolism
  • stimulates pancreatic enzymes

How to use:  Dandelions can be steamed, sautéed or eaten raw in a salad.  If the plant has flowered, parboil the leaves to reduce their bitter flavor.  Flowers can be made into wine.  Dry and make tea.

One cup of these greens provides almost a full day’s supply of Vitamin A (as carotene) plus one-third of daily Vitamin C requirement.

Caution: Only gather from lawns/areas that have not been sprayed with toxic chemicals, such as fertilizers and weed killers.

 

“A weed is but an unloved flower.” – Ella Wilcox 

Safe Sunscreens Do Exist

If you use sun screen and want one with the least amount of hazardous ingredients, this is your website:  http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/

My preference is Badger; they utilize mineral-based ingredients.

Sweeter than sugar + healthful

Stevia is thirty times sweeter than sugar yet has no calories and is non-nutritive.

Derived from its flowers and leaves as an alternative sweetener, this herb is available at many grocery or natural food stores.  Buy it as a liquid extract, powdered extract, and granulated (when mixed with rice syrup powder).  I only use the liquid extract in drop doses; my strong morning coffee gets 3-4 drops.

Why healthful?

  • Used  to suppress dental bacteria in Japan
  • Apparently regulates blood sugar so people with hypoglycemia and diabetes could utilize
  • Tolerated by candidiasis sufferers who must stop all sweets
  • Good for weight loss
  • No evidence (to date) of adverse reactions to this herb

Multiple use: Stevia’s uses are unlimited.  Unaffected by heat, it’s good for cooking and baking.  The taste has slower onset plus longer duration than sugar.

Caveat: It won’t recreate the exact same flavor and texture as sugar.

Experiment: Usually 2 drops of the liquid extract sweetens 1 cup of liquid.

 

A zen master said to a monk “you must see the universe in your cup”.

The monk looked into his cup, but didn’t see the universe so he threw the cup away.

The zen mast said “oh poor cup.  We think the cup is too small to hold the universe.

Intellectually, we can’t see how it could fit.  But wherever we go, the whole

universe always appears—in a cup, in a window, in a smile, in a word”.

Sugar Sugar Everywhere

There are many types of sugar, all with chemical differences and tastes.

If you use sugar, which type is best?

Table Sugar

When buying regular table sugar, know that it is 99.5% sucrose, chemically refined, and usually made from beets or corn, which are usually GMO (see previous post).   So, at least select 100% pure cane sugar, which is not derived from beets and corn.  Then consider organic sugar, which will be free of pesticide residues.

Evaporated Cane Juice

This is the least processed of all the sugars and the one I prefer (we even use it as ingredient for Robin’s Egg Gentle Grains, www.robinseggorganics.com).  Also referred to as sucanat, it is pressed sugarcane that is cooked and granulated at low temperatures, which allows it to retain all of its trace minerals.

Sugar with Molasses

Many sugars are processed like table sugar yet contain some molasses.  The molasses was either added back into the sugar or the sugar was not finalized in the processing steps. The one to consider using is raw sugar, made from first stage of sugarcane manufacturing.  Thus, no dyes or chemicals are used.  Also, same ilk is granulated cane juice, which is raw sugar made from cane.

Sugar does have medicinal benefits…yippee.  It can ease spasms, relieve pain, and provide short-term energy boosts.

Yet, it quickly passes into bloodstream, shocking and weakening the digestive system>>>leading to blood sugar imbalances>>>causing sugar cravings.  It’s a tough cycle, a complete roller coaster detrimental to all the body’s systems.

Also, sugar (this is not a comprehensive list):

  • is linked to tooth decay
  • is associated with type 2 diabetes
  • creates acidic environments, in the body, which consume minerals and cause calcium loss
  • may increase PMS symptoms
  • contributes to osteoporosis
  • and definitely depresses the immune system.  In fact, one tablespoon can suppress immune system (white blood cells) for up to 6 hours!

How much white stuff do you really need?

Realistically, the body only needs about 8 grams (.28 ounces) a day.  This amount can be easily obtained from fruits, and other whole foods.  The average American eats 92 grams (3.24 ounces) per day!  So, be mindful — it’s ubiquitous.

 

“The flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,

Snow in winter, a cool breeze in summer—

If useless things don’t clutter your mind,

You have the best days of your life.”   -Wumen

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